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Ex-Tour de France winner Ullrich held in Frankfurt over prostitute assault

Former Tour de France winner Jan Ullrich was arrested early Friday for allegedly assaulting a prostitute in Frankfurt, police said, just a week after the German national was briefly detained in Spain.

Ex-Tour de France winner Ullrich held in Frankfurt over prostitute assault
Jan Ullrich. Photo: DPA

“He is in police custody,” a German police spokesman told AFP, adding that the 44-year-old “was under the influence of alcohol and drugs”.

Ullrich had allegedly called on the services of a prostitute at the five-star Villa Kennedy Hotel in Frankfurt, Bild daily reported.

But he then got into a quarrel with the “escort lady” and “physically attacked and injured her,” police said.

Ullrich's latest woes came a week after he was detained for 24 hours in Spain for allegedly forcing his way into the home of his neighbour, German actor Til Schweiger, and threatening him.

Following the scandal in Spain, Ullrich said early this week he would go into rehab and seek help for his drink and drug addiction.

He had only arrived back in Germany on Thursday evening to start his therapy before he got caught up in the latest drama, Bild daily said.

The former cyclist's dramatic fall from grace came two decades after he became the only German to have won the Tour de France, in 1997.

He also won Olympic gold in Sydney in 2000.

But he was then embroiled in doping allegations and excluded from the 2006 Tour de France over his links to the Operation Puerto scandal that centred on disgraced doctor Eufemiano Fuentes, who gave performance-enhancing blood transfusions to top cyclists.

Ullrich finally came clean in 2013 about his doping past.

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VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021

Demand for bicycles has soared in Europe during the coronavirus pandemic, but conversely the global supply is at record low levels, with consumers having to wait months or over a year for their bike of choice.

VIDEO: Why you may struggle to buy a bike in Europe in 2021
Photo: Stocksnap/Pixabay

Bikes are projected to outsell cars in Europe by two to one by 2030.   

But 2021 will not be an easy year to buy a bike in many European countries, especially if you have a particular model in mind. 

Firstly, there's been a huge surge in demand for bikes during the pandemic, as Europeans looked for ways to stay fit and move around more freely without having to worry about being exposed to Covid-19 on public transport.

On the flip side, bike production in China, which supplies almost the entire global market, has practically ground to a halt.

The same can be said for bicycle accessories and components, which are either not being produced in Chinese factories currently or held up for months in ports in Asia due to the reduction of capacity in shipping.

 

In this short report, video producer Alex Dunham explores the issue of Europe's bike shortage in 2021.

 

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